Just about 365 days ago, you were busy thinking of presents to buy for family and friends at Christmas. You probably rushed through your list, budgeting on the side and ended up spending more than you wanted to, still unsure if all the presents were just right!
Guess what, it is that time of the year again! Only this time, I am sharing some awesome tips so maybe your search is not only easier and cheaper but also more meaningful.
Christmas has sadly shifted from a time with family and loved ones, celebrating the birth of Christ, to a shopping frenzy. Television and online marketing are already bombarding us with ideas for Christmas presents, with the same message: “Spend money on things that you do not need!”
I am going to change that message and say: “Know the person you are spoiling and buy with consciousness”. Maybe there is something special they want to try, taste or experience, but never got around to it. This is your opportunity to give them something they truly want, and may even “need” and will definitively appreciate! Moreover, you can choose presents that promote health and the Live Lean way!
Guilt Free treats
Everybody loves chocolate, and we are lucky we have so many choices out there! The issue is, however, that most chocolate bars are really candy bars or even just poor quality: high in sugars, chemicals, high in vegetables fats, mainly palm oil, and very poor quality cacao.
Cacao contains some of the most amazing antioxidants on the planet; it is a true superfood, so it is key that we choose wisely!
So, this Christmas, I would like to suggest two of my favorite brands, that are not only completely Raw, but also organic:
PANA would really make a special gift. This brand’s quality is extraordinary and really makes dark chocolate a true pleasure! The bars are handcrafted with a mixture of raw cacao, carob and coconut oil! Because of this combo, the texture is truffle like! I love it because I feel like I am having a true dessert! What I also enjoy is the use of real and pure ingredients and essential oils, giving it great taste and also keeping them healthy! The sugar used is either dark agave nectar, or coconut nectar; making the product sweet but very gentle on the body. Check out their selection and explore their gift options for this great season!
OMBAR is a delicious and nutritious chocolate made with raw cacao, unrefined sugars, such as coconut sugar, and added probiotics! I love this product because it has a superb range that allows everyone to find its perfect chocolate match! OMBAR is the sort of chocolate I would use for children to move from whatever junk they are used to having, to a more nutritious treat. The coco mylk bar is unbelievable! Considering I used to love milk chocolate, I cannot tell the difference; only for the better, and of course, with added probiotics it is a winner.
The new range: “Centres”, is very luscious and they all really make great Christmas gifts!
With New Year’s resolution around the corner, there is no better time than Christmas to gift someone with the right staples for a healthy beginning in 2016!
At Planet Organic healthy ideas are flowing and what I personally found exceptional, is the launch of their own brand earlier this year, Planet Organic Raw 46. The range goes from sprouted grains to nut butters and if you want to help someone dear starting a healthy new year, then I would look into some wonderful gifts from this range!
They also offer Christmas Hampers if you really want to spoil someone and below I selected the two healthiest choices.
Pukka Teas and Vitamins are a real great Christmas gift! Their range is based on Ayurvedic medicine, having teas and supplements to meet all physical and emotional needs! With almost 40 teas packaged in pretty recyclable boxes, you only need a couple together to have a hit under the tree! You can choose from Detox blends to more immune boosting mixtures such as Echinacea, there really is one for everything. The Vitamins collection offers a selection of 47 foods, juices, oils, and supplements to give your life the ultimate herbal boost. What I like about Pukka is the fact that the team is made of herbal medicine specialists so nature is really the way to health here.
After the festive season and the overeating trend before and on Christmas day, it makes sense to add in the power of plants and my favourite always remain: Spirulina and Chlorella. I really think they make great Christmas gifts from the heart!
It is always a great success having skin care and pampering products under the tree! They really make us happier! But, as for everything listed up to now, brands with heart and consciousness, make the gifts so much more meaningful.
As you already know, Live Lean, loves Wellicious, and not only because their ranges are mainly vegan, eco-friendly and great quality, but because they are holistic! From yoga clothing to pampering goodies! And those are the ones I would want to see under my tree! These accessories are the perfect accompaniment for relaxation; before, during or after your Yoga practice or just if you are home, listening to beautiful music and relaxing on the couch. Allow the gentle scent of organic lavender to calm your mind and help you have a great night sleep. We live in very busy times, so giving someone the means to relax, is a great gift and I think it is applicable to everyone!
With 34 years under their belt, Neal’s Yard is certainly one of the best beauty and wellness ranges out there. In a toxic world, I really believe we need to have access to the purest products, especially when we apply them on our skin; the main gateway to our interior! I stopped buying commercial products a couple of years ago and it always makes me so happy when gifts (may it be Christmas or Birthdays) are with products like Neal’s Yard. I am even excited with simple Lavender oil to then make my own facial oil with. So this Christmas, invest in spoiling someone you care about with products that respect the planet and the skin! Check out their gifts ranges, which start at as little as £15. You really do not need to spend much to show love!
I would personally recommend the NYR diffuser. I received mine last Christmas and there is not a day or night that i don’t use it. I love it and using it with the right oils will make your home smell beautiful!
As a Yoga Teacher , my mat is everything to me! Having a good mat; that i can take around, that is durable, easy to clean and store at home or in transit, is so important; it allows me to practice anywhere, feeling at home!
When i found Liforme i could not believe it! I now have had my mat for over a year and it is as good as new: still holds the perfect grip, still intact and still an amazing guideline to having the right poses! The Liforme mat has lines that allow you to calculate exactly where you should be on the mat, allowing a better alignment when practicing Yoga! This could really be an amazing Christmas present and the mat comes in amazing colours, Pink, Grey, Green and Blue. Also, the person using the mat will always think of you, with a smile on his/her face, because this mat is THAT AWESOME! Someone is going to a have a very Merry Chsristmasana
I love books! They are so underrated now that everyone has tablets; but the truth is, a book is magnificent; the way you can tag the pages with notes and select your favorite chapter… It’s not the same when you use an electronic device!
And of course, when it comes to books, I love Recipe and Nutrition Books! So I am going to share the ones I truly think would make great Christmas presents and, if you are thinking of giving this to your partner, remember that you will enjoy this too, each time he or she makes a dish from it! Trust me; everything in these books is delicious! And if you are interested in just being healthy, a couple of those will show you the way!
Deliciously Ella has really become a household name in vegan and healthy cooking! What I like about Ella is that she experiments all the time and that she switched to plant based because she wanted to heal her body, and did it. Her recipes are really delicious and easy to make!
Joe Cross is the Juice man! After recording himself juicing for 60 days whilst traveling across the US, and losing not only weight but the long list of drugs he was taking each day, he released the documentary that put him on the map: “Fat Sick and nearly dead”. Since then; he has started a juicing revolution and if you want to take the opportunity to start 2016 with some healthy changes, I would recommend some juicing too! After all, adding in delicious fresh juices only means adding the nutrients your body craves, especially after the holidays! Juice on!
Mary Mattern released this awesome book that allows the creation and celebration of American food with a vegan twist. Nom Yourself presents an array of decadent and creative comfort food, like Half-Baked Macaroni and Cheese, BBQ Seitan Skewers, Sweet Potato Waffle Sandwich, Roasted Garlic Parm Carrots and Whisky Lady Cupcakes. This book is a great present if you really want to be healthier but still enjoy a few treats here and there.
Victoria Moran is one of the most amazing authors I know! Not only has she published eleven wonderful books, but is a serious vegan activist who chooses health and kindness every time! I recommend her book, Main Street Vegan, which is also the name of her Academy , where individuals qualify to help individuals and groups go vegan, stay vegan, feel terrific, and be part of the wonderful ripple effect that’s saving the lives of people and animals, and helping heal the planet. In addition, the Academy teaches its students how to set up a Vegan Lifestyle Coaching practice. Both the book and the Academy could be amazing gifts because they offer wonderful guideline to embracing the vegan lifestyle and eating that way too! The book on its own however, is not only educational, but it contains amazing recipes too!
Last, but not least: do you remember Alicia Silverstone? Let me tell you, this beautiful blonde is anything but Clueless! Her amazing book: “The Kind Diet”, changed my life! Her recipes are superb and the way she talks about eating in a kind way is infectious! Grab this book now, put a nice red bow around it and place it under your tree!
Experiences to me are the best presents! You are allowing someone to try something new that can not only change their life, but also create new memories! So here 2 i would love to have for myself!
Mercedes Ngoh is one of the best Yoga teachers I know; she was also the one who introduced me and made me fall in love with Yoga. So naturally, from my wonderful experience with her, I am more that confident in sharing this amazing experience with you! Together with her husband, Simon Sieff, Mercedes founded Yeotown, the center of wellbeing! Yeotown is based in rural North Devon where nature meets nurture, giving its guests the best experience ever! Knowing that not everyone has the ability to take time out, Mercedes launched Yeotown life, a web portal where everyone can easily access all the goodness straight out of Yeotown. The membership provides you with:
Cooking: All recipes on are gluten, wheat, refined sugar and dairy free.
Yoga: Everything on offer from Yoga for Non-Yogis, to Open Level to Advanced classes including tutorials and sequencing ideas.
Fitness: Short, effective, dynamic sessions designed to both strengthen and tone the whole body in creative, inspiring ways.
Nutrition: Informational chats on everything from hydration, superfoods, key vitamins, and blood sugar levels and juicing.
Meditation: Sessions on mindfulness, mental relaxation and guided meditations.
Click on the image for details and make this great Membership to health, the perfect Christmas present
Russell James , aka The Raw Chef, is one of Britain’s best chefs out there (sorry Jamie) ! He not only has the ability create amazing dishes, but teaching anyone to do so too! The best part is that his courses are online, and anyone can learn from the comfort of their own kitchens! If you want to gift someone with an experience that can change the way they look at food and inevitably their health for the better, then this is an amazing one! Also, you can have couples taking the courses together at no extra cost! There is a vast array of courses to choose from. From everyday meals to amazing desserts and even raw chocolate! This is one e-present the recipient will certainly love!
I hope that the selection above inspires you to really buy gifts that contribute to your family and friends’ health and happiness! Presents do not need to be big, expensive or trendy; they need to be heartfelt and given with purpose, a message that says: “I care and I love you”. That is what Christmas is all about after all! Be kind and maybe, not just once a year!
Have a Merry Healthy Christmas